InOrbit Offers Time Capsule to Give Operators, Engineers Insight Into Robot Fleets

New cloud-based software-as-a-service feature enables mobile robot operators 'turn back time' to understand failures and optimize fleets.


The Time Capsule dashboard presents cloud-based analytics to robot operators.
InOrbit said the new Time Capsule feature in its cloud-based software-as-a-service offering is designed to make it easier to diagnose robot failures and optimize fleets.

InOrbit Inc., which provides cloud-based software to help operations teams orchestrate service robots, today announced the Time Capsule feature, which gives engineering and operations staffers greater insights into their robot fleets. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company said the latest upgrade to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform captures critical data needed to understand robot autonomy exceptions, giving users the ability to “turn back time” to understand where the failures occurred and enabling them to improve productivity.

InOrbit said that robots, humans, and AI working together can solve the biggest problems. No robot is perfect, noted the company. However, it is often very difficult to understand the circumstances that lead to robot errors, whether it is a failure to perform a task efficiently, choose an appropriate route, or navigate in a difficult space.

“We are striving to make it easy and intuitive for anyone to get insights from their robot, drive the right actions, and intervene if needed,” stated Florian Pestoni, CEO of InOrbit. “With our updated user experience and new functionality, we are taking it to the next level to help our customers to optimize their robots even further.”

InOrbit Time Capsule visualizes performance

By capturing the data and presenting it in an integrated dashboard, Time Capsule gives roboticists an easy-to-use, interactive visualization for root-cause analysis, said InOrbit. This can lead to a greater understanding of performance, which is critically important to drive continuous improvement with mobile robots.

“The autonomous robotics industry is still in its infancy and growing rapidly,” Pestoni said. “We have seen the impact of continuous improvement processes before, which drove significant gains in manufacturing and more recently in the explosion of e-commerce. Today, these same processes are driving massive gains in the automation industry.”

InOrbit customers can now arrange and display robot data for various roles, based on the context needed to get their job done. For instance, an executive can access key performance indicators about the overall fleet performance.

Meanwhile, a roboticist can configure the right data sources and visualizations, and a robot operator can see detailed robot status. Each company or user can customize their views based on the data that they need, said InOrbit.

Another key area of improvement is the hardware-agnostic software's ability to get situational awareness about a robot, the company said. This includes understanding a robot’s position on a map, seeing through its multiple cameras, visualizing other sensor data such as a point cloud generated by lidar, and ultimately tracking the robot’s movement.

If a robot gets mislocalized, cloud-based tools can fix the problem in seconds, said InOrbit. And if the robot needs a gentle nudge to go back to operating autonomously, Time Capsule can provide the tools to set it on the right path.

InOrbit Time Capsule full-screen mode

Robot navigation in Time Capsule full-screen mode. Source: InOrbit

InOrbit provides data for improvement 

“As we’ve been preparing our introduction of a brand-new robot, InOrbit has been with us every step of the way in enabling targeted real-time observation that we have rolled out to our distributed team,” said Steve Croft, executive vice president of operations at Savioke. “On top of that, InOrbit is solving a critical need we have by bringing key data together for offline analysis as we continuously refine our technology.”

“If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that it’s never too early to optimize the operation of autonomous robots,” said Michael Norrell, vice president of operations at Agility Robotics. “In order to achieve this, it’s critical that robotics companies deploy tools and infrastructure that enable continuous improvement and continuous learning across the company in order to realize the promise of this emerging technology.”

Time Capsule, along with additional user interface improvements, is immediately available for new and existing InOrbit customers. The company will hold a webinar showcasing Time Capsule and additional features of the platform on Wednesday, May 26, at 8 a.m. PT. Registration is free.

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The Time Capsule dashboard presents cloud-based analytics to robot operators.

Robot Technologies